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Frank Kozemko (1871-1947)
Husband of Pelagea Gadek
Contributed by Connie (King) McMichael, Great-granddaughter

The Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County

Group Three

We continue further our efforts to record the anecdotal, pictorial and material history of families originating from or having lived for extended periods of time in Sullivan County, PA. We continue to receive stories and pictures from various contributors to the Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page. My colleagues and I are grateful for this material and will endeavor to do our very best to preserve it and the associated history for posterity. Once again, these materials are presented in no particular order other than to provide you the reader with a visual and historical impression of life in our home county from 100 to 200 years ago. Comments and reflections are encouraged and invited.


The Kozemko Family of Lopez
William F. Benjamin, MD and Ancestors
The McCarty Family
The Descendants of Arthur Cummiskey
The Descendants of Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns
The Descendants of Jesse Kester and Mary A. Rinebold


Generation 1

Theodorus and Maria (Babiak) Kozemko were the parents of Lucas Kozemko who married Yekaterna Lukaczyk. The information presented here is a brief history of a some of the children of Lucas and Yekaterna Kozemko,and the decendants of Frydo and Pelagea Kozemko, great-grandparents of Connie (King) McMichael, our contributor. This information is compiled from memories and documents of her mother treasured through the years. Also, Connie would like to thank Fred and Fayne Murphy, Ann Marie Bahantka and Scott Bahantka for their gifts of information and photos. The information on this page was put together as a gift to Connie's mother Elizabeth "Betty" (Kozemko) King. Betty died in March 2003 in Kentucky, but lived long enough to see and enjoy this page. Here is her obituary..

The News Enterprise
Elizabethtown, KY
Sunday, March 23, 2003

Elizabeth "Betty" King,76,of Radcliff,died Wednesday,March 19,2003,at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.

She received her education from the Russian School in Lopez,Pa.,and High School in Dushore,Pa. She retired from civil service at Fort Knox and was an avid bowler,belonging to leagues in Elizabethtown, Fort Knox,and Louisville, traveling the United States to bowl in tournaments.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Master Sgt.(Ret.)Walter R.King, who died in 1963; an infant son Stephen Richard; and her parents,Stephen and Mary (Panco)Kozemko.

Survivors include two daughters, Donna Semega of Radcliff and Connie Lou McMichael of Clarkson, two sons Ralph Walter"Butch"King II of Big Spring and Michael Edward King of Rineyville; 13 grandchildren, step-grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren.

The funeral is at 7 p.m. Monday at Nelson -Edlen -Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff with the Rev.Paige Hardin officating. Visitation begins at 6p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Generation 2

Lucas Kozemko married Yekaterna Lukaczy.

Generation 3

Three children of Lucas and Yekaterna Kozemko came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to America, and settled in Lopez, Sullivan County,PA between the years 1895-1896:

Lucas Kozemko, born about 1867 in Austria, came to the US in 1895, working for the railroad as a laborer. Lucas is listed in the 1900 Lopez census as a boarder living with the family of Roman and Anna Ragousek. Although he was listed as married, his wife was not in the country at that time.

Sam Kozemko, born about1876 in Austria, came to the US in 1896 with brother Frydo (Frank). Sam is listed as working as a laborer/woods, and was a boarder at the home of Metro and Katka Burick in Lopez. He was listed as married., Also living in the same household is Mary Kozemko, born in 1883, arriving in the US in 1899. This is believed to be his wife, not a sister.

Frydo Kozemko ("Frank", he liked to be called), born May 12,1871 in Stavitas, Galichina, Austro-Hungarian Empire. Arriving in the US in 1896 with brother Sam, Frydo worked for the railroad as a laborer. Frydo loved a woman in the old counrty that had been married by arrangement to someone else, as the story has been told. John Skiba married Pelagea Gadek in Austria, and they had a son named Johnny. John came to America to work for the railroad, thereafter dying in an accident. John and Pelagea's son Johnny had fallen from a window as a toddler and died from the injuries. Hearing of these events, Frydo sent for Pelagea. Pelagea Natal Gadek, born Feb,24,1874 in Stavistas, Galichina, Austro-Hungarian Empire, was the daughter of Andrew and Maria Gadek. She came to the US in 1898. Frydo and Pelagea were married Sept.13,1898 by A.G.Tobits, in Wilkes Barre, PA, at the Assumption Orthodox Russian Church. Frydo and Pelagea are listed in the 1900 Lopez census as Frank and Pauline, with son Steve (Connie's grandfather) and also listing Annie Panco, a cousin to Frydo. She is believed to be related to Steve's future wife Mary Panco's father. Frydo and Pelagea took in boarders, as did many of the families then. In the 1900 census, living in their household were John Mareitch, Kusma Kosmadomofsky, John Chelisky, Andrew Pagoosh, Fieler Gulisch, Max Fesnavatsch, Thomas Mikavitch, Thomas Ratsco, and M.Bartleson. Frydo received his naturalization as a US citizen on June 13,1922 at the age of 51 from the Court of Common Pleas, Laporte,Sullivan County, PA. The family made their home in Lopez, PA. Frydo died Aug.7,1947, and Pelagea died in 1956. They are both buried at St.Vladimirs Russian Cemetery, Lopez, PA. There were nine children born to them: Stephen, Michael, Andrew, John, Mary, Metro, Julia, Catherine and Samuel.

Pelagea Natal (Gadek) Kozemko (1874-1956)
Wife of Frydo Kozemko
With Granddaughter Elizabeth (Kozemko) King and Great-granddaughter Donna Marie King
Family Homestead Porch in Lopez 1954
Contributed by Connie (King) McMichael, Great-granddaughter

Generation 4

The children of Frydo and Pelagea Kozemko were:

Stephen Kozemko, born April 5,1900, died Aug 7,1935. baptized April 16,1900 in the Greek Catholic Church, Plymouth, PA. His godparents were D. Ropavai and Andrei Marak. As Connie's grandmother, Mary Panco, told her as a youngster, Mary's sister had fallen in love and "BaBa", as they called Mary, was the oldest daughter. So, she must marry first, since the custom of the day among folks from the old country was for the eldest daughter to be the first married. So arrangements were made with the Kozemko family for their son Stephen to marry Mary. She was born May 23,1903, daughter of Oftgoslius and Anna (Zodoroski) Panco. Her godparents were Simon Gaydosh and Ladovica Sentzo. When Mary's mother passed away, her obit read as follows:

The funeral of Mrs.Anna (Zodoroski) Panco, 670 Swallow St., Edwardsville, PA, was held this morning from the Hugh Jones Funeral Home, 34 Church St., Edwardsville,PA. Rev. Dr. Stephen Kachur conducted Divine Liturgy in St. John Russian Orthodox Church. Miss Anna Podelak was the soloist. Interment was in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cemetery, Pringle, PA. Pallbearers were Andrew Drwit, Raymond Moncovitch, John Konsavage, Ernest DeLuca, John Tomasura and Francis Kuzminski.

Stephen and Mary made their home in Lopez. Stephen worked in the Bernice coal mines. At the early age of 35, he died of "Black Lung" disease. His death certificate reads: "Carsinomia of the Intestines". Connie's mother said, when she was young and they had made a visit to the cemetery, Connie's grandfather sat on the ground and said that is where he was to be buried, and in fact that is where he was laid to rest. Mary worked in the sewing factories in Lopez and Dushore. She never remarried and raised her children alone. When her health failed and she had a stroke, she was moved to a rest home and then lived with her youngest daughter, Florence, in Arlington,VA. Later, she moved to Radcliff, Kentucky and spent her remaining time with her eldest daughter, Elizabeth. Mary passed away June 8,1987, at the age of 84, at Elizabeth's home. Stephen and Mary both lay at rest at St.Vladimir's Cemetery, Lopez, PA.

Stephen and Mary (Panco) Kozemko in 1925
Contributed by Connie (King) McMichael

There were three children born to Stephen and Mary: Theodor,Elizabeth,Florence.

Theodor ("Frank") Kozemko, born Jan.28,1924, died Oct.24,1990. Frank received his education in Lopez and Dushore, PA. He joined the US Army, spent time in England and served in WWII. He married in Sept.1948 to Sophie Rado at St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Church in Lopez. They made their home in Elmira, NY. There were three children born to them: Cathy, Mark and Stephen. Frank and Sophie divorced and Frank remarried to Margret_______.

Elizabeth ("Betty") Kozemko, born Sept.28,1926; died March 19, 2003 in Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She received her education in Lopez and Dushore, PA, graduating in 1943-44. As a young woman, she worked in the Weldon Factory in Lopez, and in Eaglesmere, PA. She married on Oct.5, 1946 to Walter Richard King in Elmira, NY. Walter was born Jan.27, 1921 in Nordmont, PA. son of Ralph and Mae (Warburton) King. The King family has been residing in this area since the 1800's. Walter worked in the CCCamps and then joined the US Army. He spent tours in Korea, Persia(Iran) and many locations in the US. He retired from the military after 20 years as an E-7. The family followed Walter to many military posts, settling outside Fort Knox, KY. in 1956. In the town called Radcliff, Hardin County, KY, they made their home. There were five children born to them. Walter suffered a heart attack and spent six months in Ireland Army Hospital, FortKnox. Being home only a month, he suffered another attack and died at his residence in Radcliff. Walter is buried in the family plot in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, PA. He left a wife and four children. Elizabeth never remarried after Walter's death. She raised her children by working for AFES at the military post, retiring after 20 years. Elizabeth was the only surviving child of Stephen and Mary Kozemko. The children of Elizabeth (Kozemko) and Walter King were: Donna Marie (Semega), Connie Lou (LaGrega-McMichael), Ralph Walter II, Michael Edward, Stephen Richard (born.Dec.27, 1951, died April 2,1952, buried in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, PA. There were also thirteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grand children.

Florence Kozemko was born June 24,1930 in Colley Twp. PA. She died Nov.17,1986 in Arlington, VA. Florence received her early education in Lopez and Dushore. She worked in Eaglesmre as a young woman. Florence married Edwin "Skeeter" Cox. The Cox family was one of the early families to locate in Sullivan County, PA. Edwin joined the US Navy, and to them were born four children: Sandra(Dudley), Edwin, David and Stephen. In November 2001, Edwin sent the following message to this genealogical site about his Kozemko family:

My grandparents were Stephen Kozemko, b. 1900, d. 1935, and Mary Panco Kozemko,b. 1903, d. 1987, from Lopez, PA. To my knowledge, they had only three children: Florence Dorothy (my mother), b. 1930, d. 1986; Frank, b. 1924, d. 1990; and Betty (last residence to my knowledge was Fort Knox, KY; married to Walter King [deceased], a good friend to my father, Edwin Lynn Cox. Betty and Walter had at least one known child by the name of Michael, called "Tuffy". "Tuffy" was married to a Theresa _______ who had two sons named Michael and Christopher, and possibly another child by the name of Connie.

Mary Kozemko ["Baba"], Mom (Florence), and all of Mom's kids (that includes me) were raised as Russian Orthodox in Lopez, PA. "Baba" , Stephen, Frank and Mom are buried at St. Vladimir's Church Cemetery in Lopez. "Baba" never remarried after grandfather Stephen died from "black lung" in 1935.

Edwin Lynn Cox II
November 18, 2001

Florence and Edwin divorced and Florence remarried April 10,1976 to David Grolemond. They made their home in Arlington, VA, where Florence worked for AT&T. Mary Kozemko, Florence's mother, lived with the family for some time as she was in poor health. Florence's funeral was officiated by Hieromonk Michael Thier, pastor of St.Vladimir's and Paul Borick of St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Coaldale, Schuykill County, PA. She was buried in St.Vladimir's Cemetery, Lopez, PA. (Source: Memorial Card, Williamsport, PA Sun Gazette, November 18, 1986)

Michael Kozemko, born Nov.16, 1901, died May 1973. He married a widow, Josephine (Kulowski), born Nov.25, 1898, died March 8,1988 in Flordia. They made their home in Syracuse, NY. Josephine had two children by her first marriage: Dorothy and Edward.

Andrew Kozemko, born Nov.6, 1903. married Mary (Sisco), born May 23,1903, died June 1987. They lived in Lopez,PA. They had one son, Andrew II. Andrew left his wife and child and was not heard from.

John ("Butch") Kozemko, born Sept.27, 1905. John served in WWII. After coming home, he worked in the Weldon Pajama Factory, living with his parents until his death. He never married. John was shot at work by a co-worker and died April 9, 1954. John is buried in St.Vladimir's Russian Church Cemetery, Lopez, PA. His obit can be seen on the Sullivan County Genealogical Web Site Message Boards.

John "Butch" Kozemko (1905-1954)
With His Great-Niece Connie King
Lopez 1953
Contributed by Connie (King) McMichael

Mary Kozemko, born Sept.13, 1907. She married Michael Spirawk in 1929. They resided in Elmira, NY. Mary is the matriarch of the Kozemko Family. There was one daughter born to them: Joyce.

Metro Kozemko, born Oct.14, 1909 and died Sept.1978, married Helen (Zedock), born Jan.17,1909, died April 1986. They made their home in Elmira, NY. There were two sons born to them: Emil and Eugene. Three grand children and two great-grandchildren were also born. There is a picture of Metro and his brother Sam on the Lopez Baseball Team at Alex Stavisky's Lopez Site . Connie's mother remembers most of the people in the photo.

Julia Kozemko, born Sept.12,1911. died Dec.21,1999. She married Stephen Chupack. Stephen managed the Weldon Pajama Factory, located in Lopez. In 1947, the family made their home in Williamsport, PA. They had two children: Fayne and Stephen. There were also three grandchildren. After her husband's death, Julia lived in Williamsport and later moved to Menlo Park, CA. She was a member of the Catholic community at Stanford University. Julia's obit can also be seen on this site's Message Boards. There was a memorial mass at St.Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto, CA. When Connie was a child, her family visited Aunt Julia. She can remember playing on Fayne's piano and in Aunt Julia's back yard, which was filled with beautiful flowers just like the woman who grew them. She was one of the most wonderful people Connie knew as a child.

Catherine Kozemko, born Jan.2, 1913, in Lopez. She married William Bahantka on Jan.19, 1931 at St. Francis Church in Mildred, PA. William was born Sept.7, 1907 in Bernice, PA, son of William and Anna (Barsavage) Bahantka. William and Catherine lived in Lopez and William worked in the coal mines. Then, moving to Elmira, NY, he worked for American Bridge. William died in his home in Elmira Heights, NY, March 17,1982. Catherine died at Arnot-Ogden Hospital after a bad fall on January 4,1998. There were four children born to them: Rose Marie, William, Francis and John. There were also seventeen grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren. Obits for Catherine and William can be seen on the Message Boards for this site.

Samuel Kozemko, born Oct.11, 1916, died July, 1971. He married Julia (Dubenko), born August 12, 1918, and she is still alive today in January 2002. Julia was from Bernice, PA. They lived in Lopez and later moved to the Elmira, NY area. Samuel and Julia had three sons: Samuel, Michael and Theodore. The younger Samuel was a captain in the US Marines.

In January 2001, we received the following message and pictures from Anne Dubenko Sheffer, the niece of Julia Dubenko who married Samuel Kozemko. Her comments led us to make a few corrections in the Kozemko/Dubenko story line, for which we are grateful.

I am doing genealogy on the Dubenko family (among others). My great grandfather was John Dubenko; my grandfather was Michael Dubenko from the Bernice area, my father was John Anthony Dubenko.

My father's sister Julia Dubenko married Samuel Kozemko. Julia Dubenko is ALIVE and (relatively) well, still living in Elmira Heights, New York. As a matter of fact, I just spoke with her a few days before I saw your article. She is still living with her two sons, Michael and Teddy. Their son Sam -- THIS is the Samuel who was the Captain in the U.S. Marines, NOT his father -- died August 24, 1999 while working at Corning Glass. Sam served in Vietnam and had a military burial in Elmira which I attended. I sent a copy of your history to my Aunt Julia. I have given you her phone number and address if you would like to contact her for any reason.

Michael Dubenko's father, John Dubenko, came to the Unites States from Austria. He settled in Bernice, boarding in the home of Susan Polinsky. At some point, he sent for his two sons, Peter and Michael, who apparently entered this continent via Canada. Michael joined his father in Bernice and Peter remained in Canada. John moved into Mrs. Patrician's house in Bernice and eventually returned to Austria. Nothing further is known about John or his son Peter.

My grandfather, Michael Dubenko, was born in 1884 in Austria and died November 11, 1953 in Bernice, PA. Anna died May 26, 1926 in Mildred, PA. Michael and Anna met through Michael's friend Felix Heumeniuk. Michael worked for the Connell Coal Mine and lived in a company house with the Patrician family. Michael and Anna had a son John, born August 24, 1913 (my father, now deceased) as well as my aunt Julia (who later married Samuel Kozemko; Clara; Irene, who died February 23, 1924 in Bernice; and Frances. There was also a baby named Alex who died in infancy.

My whole family history is from Sullivan County, as my father John Dubenko married Mary Polinsky. She was the granddaughter of Susan Polinsky, who ran the boarding house that my great grandfather John, the immigrant, stayed in during his short visit to Pennsylvania. Also, my maternal grandmother is Mary Dubosh, daughter of Andrew Dubosh and Mary Haraksin from the Lopez area.

Thank you very much for any further information you can give. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me back if you have any questions.

Michael Dubenko and Anna Loch
Wedding Party
Lopez 1912
The bridal couple is in the center.
Other parties unknown.
Contributed by Anne Dubenko Sheffer.
Note: Anne's father was never able to identify any people in this wedding photo other than his parents. We have surmised that perhaps the tall man with the moustache standing on the left is Michael's father, but we have no proof. Though her father remembered his father speaking of Felix Heumeniuk and thought that Felix and his wife were his godparents, he could not identify them in this picture, although they would most likely would have been there. Any help with identifications would be appreciated.

John Dubenko
During World War II
Son of Michael and Anna (Loch) Dubenko
Contributed by Anne Dubenko Sheffer.

Home at Bernice, PA of
Michael Dubenko and His Daughter Irene
Located on the main road in Bernice
Between the Striney and Hatton houses
Still Standing in 1997
Contributed by Anne Dubenko Sheffer.

The Kozemko Family had its begining in Lopez, and since has spread all over the US. Many family members remain unaccounted for because of Connie's young age when she last saw them. As a result, Connie cannot remember all the names and connections. If you are related to any of the people mentioned here, please contact Connie McMichael. She would love to add you and your family connections to the story, and share even more family information that has not been posted, since Connie does not have permission to publicize all the information she has.


A Descendant of William Brewster of the Mayflower

Generation 9

William F. Benjamin, M.D. was born 18 April 1820, in DeRuyter, Madison County New York. He was the tenth of twelve children born to Elias and Rhoda (Paddock) Benjamin. William Benjamin married Elizabeth Sullivan in 1843. They were residents of Freetown, Cortland County NY in 1855. Elizabeth Sullivan was born 30 May, 1824 in Uniontown, Fayette County, PA.

It is not known at this time where William Benjamin studied medicine, but he is reported to have practiced in Chenango, Madison, and Cortland counties in New York. It is assumed that he received his medical training in New York State also. He moved to Dushore, Sullivan County, PA with his family in 1859, and has been referred to as one of the pioneer physicians of Sullivan County. It has also been recorded that Dr. Benjamin served as an examining physician in the Civil War. William F. Benjamin died 10 August, 1869 as the result of an accidental overdose of morphine administered to himself. He is buried in a family plot in Fairview (Bahr Hill) Cemetery in Cherry Township in Sullivan County.

William and Elizabeth (Sullivan) Benjamin had nine children.

    1. John Edward born 10 August, 1827 in Smithfield Township, Maryland, married Celinda C. Colley.
    2. Sanford E. born 1851 in Smithfield Township, Maryland, married (1) Hattie Fairchild, and (2) Susan Hoffa. Sanford E. was also a doctor, and died under tragic circumstances.
    3. Mary Jane.
    4. Anna, died young.
    5. Deborah, born 1854 in DeRuyter, Madison County New York, married Bernard Kline.
    6. Taletha, born Cortland County, New York.
    7. William, born 6 May 1858 in Truxton, New York.
    8. Elizabeth born 1 June, 1860 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA married N. S. Fraser. *
      * Editor's Note: Her Death Certificate indicates that she was born in June 1859 and was a widow of "Hahn". She is buried as "Beth" Hahn at Bahr Hill Cemetery (Fairview) in Dushore, along with many other members of the Benjamin family.
    9. Laura Wells, born 28 November 1862 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA. Laura died 6 January, 1919 in Johnson City, Broome County, New York. She married George Wesley Johnson. Laura (Benjamin) Johnson and George Johnson had ten children.
    1. Daisy Jeanette born, 18 August 1884 in Dushore, died 20 December 1942.
    2. Cora Elizabeth born 4 March 1886 in Dushore, died 12 May 1939.
    3. Nellie Matilda born 28 April 1887 in Dushore, died 20 February 1900.
    4. Lloyd Benjamin born 5 July 1889 in Lopez, died 31 August 1889.
    5. Bessie Rebecca born 25 January 1891 in Lopez, died 20 November 1957.
    6. Nettie Sarah born 6 June 1893 in Lopez.
    7. Frank Wesley born 31 August 1898 in Lopez, died 13 January 1922.
    8. Albert Lewis born 31 December 1900 in Lopez, died 11 July 1965.
    9. Deborah Alice (twin) born 20 September 1903 in Lopez.
    10. Eudora Agnes (twin) born 20 September 1903 in Lopez died 25 June 1981.

Generation 8

Elias Benjamin was born 1 February, 1782 in Accord, Ulster County, New York. He was the son of Chester and Antjie (Harp) Benjamin. Elias married Rhoda Paddock, and they had twelve children. Elias Benjamin served in the War of 1812. According to his pension papers he contracted measles in 1813 while serving at Sacketts Harbor, NY. When confined in the hospital he was mistakenly given acetate of lead instead of the prescribed medicine, cream of tarter. His roommate in the infirmary, Truman Adams, who was a physician, discovered this error. He was treated and his life was saved. He eventually returned to the military. According to his pension papers he suffered chronic pain for the rest of his life. He was awarded a pension of ten dollars a month and 60 acres of land. Elias Benjamin died in DeRuyter, Madison County, New York 8 April, 1863. He is buried with his wife, Rhoda, in the Merchant Farm Cemetery. A fire in the courthouse destroyed all death records for that time in Madison County,NY.

Rhoda Paddock was born 9 September, 1785 in Otselic Southeast, Dutchess County, New York. She was the daughter of David B. Paddock and Miriam (Beldon) Paddock. Rhoda Paddock moved to Fabius, Madison County NY with her mother and brothers David and Nathan in 1796. Rhoda’s sister Elizabeth was married to Elijah Benjamin, one of the first settlers of Madison County NY, and an uncle to Rhoda’s husband, Elias. Rhoda (Paddock) Benjamin died 5 June, 1858.

Generation 7

David B. Paddock was born 12 December, 1734 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. David B. Paddock was the son of David Paddock and Mary Foster. He died 31 March, 1794 in Southeast, Dutchess County, NY. David B. Paddock married Miriam Beldon on 28 January, 1762 in Wilton, Connecticut.

Miriam Beldon was born 14 May, 1743 (or 25 May, 1744) in Deerfield, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Daniel and Esther (Smith) Beldon. Miriam (Beldon) Paddock died 27 April, 1823 and is buried in Milltown Cemetery in Putnam County, NY.

Generation 6

David Paddock was born 12 August, 1705 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. David Paddock was the son of Zachariah Paddock and Bethiah Hall. He was likely baptized 4 November, 1705. David Paddock married Mary Foster 12 October, 1727 in Marshfield, Brewster, Massachusetts. It is recorded, "Then David Paddock of Yarmouth and Mary Foster of Harwich were married by the Reverend Nathanell Stone". David Paddock died about 1772 in Dutchess (now Putnam) Co. NY, and is buried in the old graveyard north of Doansburg in Putnam Co. NY.

Mary Foster was born 5 January 1709 or 1710 in Harwich, Brewster, Massachusetts. Mary Foster was the daughter of Chillingsworth Foster and Mercy Freeman. Mary Foster died around 1772 in Southeast, NY.

Generation 5

Chillingsworth Foster was born about 1680 in Harwich, Brewster, Massachusetts. He was the son of Mary Chillingsworth and John Foster.

Mercy Freeman was born about 1687. She was the daughter of John Freeman and Sarah Merrick.

Generation 4

John Freeman was born 10 December, 1651 and died 27 July, 1721.

Sarah Merrick was born about 1654 likely in Duxbury. She died around 1696. Sarah was the daughter of Rebecca Tracy and Lt. William Merrick. Rebecca was a passenger on the "Ann" in 1623, and William Merrick was a "James" passenger in 1636. Sarah Merrick’s ancestry can be traced back to Captain Meurig Ap Llewellyn, Esq. who was Captain of the Bodyguard of King Henry VIII.

Generation 3

John Freeman was born about 1625 in Eastham, Massachusetts. He was the son of Edmund Freeman and Alice Coles of Pulborough, Essex, England. John Freeman was a passenger on the "Abigail" in 1635. After his arrival in Plymouth Colony he became an assistant to the Governor (Thomas Prence) and served in this capacity from 1666 to 1692. John Freeman died about 1719.

Mercy Prence was born about 1631. She was the daughter and fourth child of Thomas Prence and Patience Brewster. She died 28 September, 1711 at the age of 80.

Generation 2

Thomas Prence was born about 1600 in England. He was the son of Thomas Prence (or Prince). He was a passenger on the "Fortune" in 1621. He married (1) Patience Brewster on 5 August, 1624. He became the governor of Plymouth Colony in 1634, and was elected as an Assistant to the Governor in 1635, and from then on he was either an Assistant or Governor every year for the rest of his life. It is recorded that he presided over Plymouth’s first witchcraft trial in 1661. He is also noted for having brought about a free school system in Plymouth Colony. Thomas Prence died 29 March, 1673 at the age of 73.

Patience Brewster was born about 1600 in England. She was the daughter of William Brewster and Mary (possibly Wentworth). Patience was a passenger on the "Ann" in 1623, joining her parents in Plymouth Colony.

Generation 1

William Brewster was born about 1566 in Scrooby, England. He was the spiritual leader of the Pilgrims and arrived in America on the "Mayflower" in 1621.

Mary __________ It is not certain at this time what the maiden name was of Mary, wife of William Brewster. Many have presumed it to be Wentworth.

References: Pension papers, War of 1812, Elias Benjamin

Obituaries--William F. Benjamin--The Bradford Reporter, August 12, 1869

Elizabeth Sullivan Benjamin--Sullivan Review, Dushore, PA

The Benjamin Family in America by Gloria Wall Bicha and Helen Benjamin Brown

The Paddock Genealogy: Descendants of Robert Paddock of Plymouth Colony, blacksmith and constable, 1646 by Robert Joseph Curfman

Plymouth Colony, Its History & People 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton

Submitted by:
Emydee (Johnson) Hannon
Great-granddaughter of William F. Benjamin


Postcard Reproduction of Memorial to Sumner Francis McCarty
Contributed by Linda Bosnak, Gr-granddaughter

The picture shown here commemorates the service of the first forest ranger in Sullivan County, Sumner Francis McCarty. It reads in full:

In Memory Of
Sumner Francis McCarty
First Forest Ranger 1930-1950
Wyoming State Forest
Sullivan County
Lover of Out Doors
Faithful Public Servant
Erected By
His Host of Friends
July 15 1951

According to our contributor, Linda Bosnak, the McCarty family is believed to have originated in Scotland. Silas McCarty, ancestor of the Sullivan County McCarty family, was born about 1700. He left Scotland, as family stories relate, and moved to Ireland before he emigrated to America. He originally settled in Bucks County, PA. An old map of Bucks County lists him as the owner of a tract of land in Plumstead Township in 1724. Silas married Sarah Carrell (1700-1755), the granddaughter of Rev. Thomas Dungan and his wife, Elizabeth Weaver. The Dungans and Weavers were early settlers of America, arriving from England in the mid-to-late 1600's and eventually settling in Newport and surrounding towns in Rhode Island. In fact, Thomas Dungan's mother was Frances Latham, daughter of Lewis Latham, Sergeant of the Hawks (Falconer) to King Charles I. Silas died in 1759.

Thomas McCarty, son of Silas and Sarah (Carrell) McCarty, married Elizabeth Lancaster, and they had 18 children. About 1790, Thomas and Elizabeth moved from Northumberland County to a farm somewhere in the area between Muncy and Clarkstown, PA. Thomas was a Presbyterian and Elizabeth belonged to the Society of Friends (Quakers). He applied for membership prior to their marriage, but was turned down. Although it meant she would be disowned, they married anyway. They continued to attend the Friends Church and, after 19 years, both were admitted to the Richland Meeting. You can examine a detailed genealogical chart at The Descendants of Thomas McCarty

Joel McCarty (1771-1850), sixth child of Thomas & Elizabeth, moved to Elkand Township around 1800. He was married to Ellen Roberts (1781-1844) and they had eleven children. It is the decendants of Joel and Ellen who now make up a very large number of the inhabitants of Elkland Township and other Sullivan County townships. Ellen was a minister in the Society of Friends, and remained so for almost 40 years. Stories are told of the how she not only carried out the duties of her ministry and cared for a large family, but had time to travel for the Society to New York and Canada, as well as visiting and caring for community members who were taken ill.

Silas McCarty (1811-1888) was a son of Joel & Ellen. He married Sarah Annable and also lived in Elkland Township. They had 8 children. Joshua McCarty (1838-1901) was the eldest child of Silas and Sarah (Annable) McCarty. He was married first to Sarah Taylor (1846-1870). They had two children, Silas T. and Taylor McCarty. He then married Cynthia Battin (1852-1919) and they had 4 children. Cynthia's family belonged to the Society of Friends and were descended from several old families, including the Hoaglands and the Carpenters. Here is a photo of Joshua and Cynthia with their children.

Joshua and Cynthia (Battin) McCarty with Children
Back, l to r: Silas T. and Taylor (sons of first marriage), Samuel
Front, l to r: Joseph and Sumner with parents
Photo Taken About 1895
Contributed by Linda Bosnak, Gr-gr-granddaughter

Here is another picture that shows Iva with her husband Sumner's brother, Samuel McCarty, and Samuels' wife Cora Smith.

Iva (Woodhead) McCarty, Samuel McCarty and Cora (Smith) McCarty
Photo Taken in the Late 1950s
Contributed by Linda Bosnak

Sumner Francis McCarty was born to Joshua and Cynthia (Battin) McCarty on 11/20/1883. In 1904 he married Iva J. Woodhead, b. 1887, d. 1963. Iva's ancestors include many of the old and founding families of Sullivan County, including the Littles, Molyneux's and the Birds. Sumner was well known for his love of the outdoors, especially the Wyoming State Forest in Sullivan County. His favorite spot was the High Knob Overlook, where his memorial now stands. Sumner and Iva had eight children, two of whom died in infancy. Sumner died in 1950. He and Iva are buried in the New Friends Cemetery in Shunk, PA. Here is a picture of Sumner and Iva with a group of other people taken some time in the first half of the twentieth century. Any help with the identities of the others in the picture would be appreciated.

Sumner Francis McCarty and His Wife Iva (Woodhead) McCarty
On the Left, Others Unknown
Contributed by Linda Bosnak, Gr-granddaughter

Gladys McCarty, Linda's grandmother, daughter of Sumner and Iva (Woodhead) McCarty, was born in 1916 and died in 1996. She was married to Gordon. G. Smith, of Luzerne County, PA. He was born in 1915 and died in 1963. They had two children, Linda's uncle Theron (Terry) and her mother, Donna Smith.

Yet another link to the McCarty family came into view when we posted the Rogers and Warren Family Photo Collection in November 2004. At the end of that pictorial history is a 1920ish picture of a grade school class. Two of the students are the brothers Bennett, Newton and Fred. When they grew up, they each married "Ruth" McCarty. No, not the same woman, but instead McCarty third cousins. Larry Pardoe tells the story as follows: Ruth Marion McCarty (1920-1974) was a daughter of Sumner F. McCarty and Iva J. Woodhead. In 1943, she married Newton Darwin Bennett (1910-1980), son of Judson Tracy Bennett and Bertha Mable May. Ruth "Evelyn" (who was still living in 2004) was a daughter of Francis M. McCarty and Jessie Lula Day. She married first Fred Clayton Bennett (1913-1978), Newton Bennett's brother, and a few years after his death married Laurence Robert Higley (also still living in 2004). Sumner F., and Francis M. McCarty were 2nd cousins, their fathers being 1st cousins, Job McCarty and Joshua McCarty, who were sons of brothers Aaron and Silas McCarty (see above). Larry provides the following addtional remarks:

I have been working at putting together a family tree for the McCarty family for the past 7 or 8 years. Joel McCarty and his wife Ellen (Roberts) McCarty settled in Elkland Township - then Lycoming Co., now Sullivan Co., about 1800. The Sullivan Review has been publishing in six parts "An Early History of The Elkland Meeting Of Friends" by David L. Bailey. The 4th portion was in this past weeks issue - which mentions Ellen and her ministry in the Friends Church (Quaker). Still two more continuations to go. My connection is not by blood line. Instead, I am connected through the marriage of two of Joel and Ellen's children: Aaron McCarty who married Elizabeth Pardoe; and his sister Jane McCarty who married Elizabeth's brother, William Pardoe -- thus McCarty brother and sister marrying Pardoe sister and brother. My Pardoe ancestor was a sibling to Elizabeth and William Pardoe. As further information, this past year a corporation has been formed in Sullivan County with some of Joel and Ellen's descendants in hopes to gather enough contributions to restore the original log cabin that was built about 1800 by Joel and Ellen when they settled there and started their family. The original log cabin is still standing. A lot of the cabin is still intact, but the roof and foundation is in dire need of repairs. They were hoping to dismantle it before this winter - label the logs and store it inside over the winter and hopefully start to restore it next year. Nothing has been publicized about this just yet. The cabin is located in Elkland Township, on the farm where Joel and Ellen McCarty settled. The farm has been in the McCarty/Pardoe family for the past six generations and is now lived on by James Pardoe (3rd great-grandson of Joel and Ellen McCarty).
Larry Pardoe, November 29, 2004

Another piece of McCarty history came into view on November 13, 2002 when Josephine Finan McCarty passed away. She was the widow of Kenneth McCarty (1916-1984), who was the son of Sumner's brother, Samuel McCarty (1877-1961) and Cora Smith (1881-1971). That is, Kenneth was Sumner's nephew. By marrying Josephine, Kenneth brought together the old McCarty settler family and one of the prominent immigrant Irish families of Sullivan county that came to the new World in the mid-1800s. Such are the unusual connections that we find in the history of Sullivan County and its families. Here is the obituary for Josephine Finan McCarty, courtesy of Carol Brotzman:

Daily Review
Towanda, PA
November 14, 2002

Mary Josephine Finan McCarty, 84, lifelong resident of Dushore, Pa. died Wednesday Nov. 13, 2002 at the Highlands, LaPorte, Pa. after a lengthy illness.

Mary was born March 16, 1918 at home in New Albany, a daughter of the late Patrick J. and Anna J. Murphy Finan. She was married 44 years to the late Kenneth L. McCarty who died in 1984. She worked for the Commonwealth Telephone Company for several years as well as SullCraft Industries in Dushore.

Mary was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She enjoyed having family gatherings. She was an avid seamstress and baker, being well known for her home bread and sticky buns. She cherished time spent with her grandchildren. Mary was a member of St. Basil's church and a member of its former Altar & Rosary society. She was a 4-H leader for many years and volunteered at the Highlands in Dushore, Pa. She belonged to the Country Quilters that gathered at Sullivan Terrace. Mary enjoyed helping others in a quiet manner and asked for nothing in return.

She is survived by two sons and daughter-in-law; Gerald and Louise McCarty of Salt Lake City, UT and John and Kathy McCarty of Dushore, Pa. five daughters and sons-in-law; Theresa and Kenneth Sherman * of Scranton, Pa. Marie Kathleen (Kate) Meckley of Montoursville, Pa.; Joan & Douglas Phillips of Troy, Pa. Barbara Gorrell of Bloomsburg, Pa. and Julia and Robert Roy of Laporte, Pa. Two sisters; Rita Rohe and Geraldine Arey both of Dushore, Pa. Sister-in-law, Mary R. Finan of Dushore, Pa. eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Mary was predeceased by brothers; Vincent (Pete) Finan and Leonard (Pop) Finan, and a grandson Rob Roy.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday Nov. 16, 2002 at 10:30 a.m. from the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St, Dushore, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Basil's Roman Catholic Church, Dushore, with the Rev. Michael B. Harris, her pastor, presiding. Interment will be in the adjoining parish cemetery. In keeping with her wishes, there will be no visitation; friends may call as a tribute to her life at the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St. Dushore, Pa. on Saturday Nov. 16, 2002 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The family will provide flowers and Memorials are directed to Dushore Fire and Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 1, Dushore, Pa. 18614 or the Sullivan County, Library, P.O. Box 309 Dushore, Pa. 18614.

* Here is an obituary for one of Josephine McCarty's grandchildren, Brian M. Sherman, courtesy of Carol Brotzman:

Scranton Times
Scranton, PA
October 2, 2010

Brian M. Sherman, 43, of Dunmore, died Wednesday September 29, 2010 at the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He and his wife, the former Denise Cogliette, were to celebrate 10 years of marriage on Sept. 30. Born in Scranton, he was the son of Kenneth and Teresa [sic] Sherman. Brian was a graduate of Scranton Technical School and attended East Stroudsburg University. Brian was a standout on the football field in high school, college and with the Scranton Eagles. He was an avid archer, angler and golfer. Most of all, he loved spending time with his son.
Also surviving are a son, Hunter, at home; a brother, Kenneth, Hollywood, Md.; a niece and a nephew.
The funeral will be Monday at 9:30 a.m. from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 322 Chestnut St., Dunmore. Those planning to attend are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family. Friends are invited to call Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Morell-LaBelle Funeral Home, 301 Chestnut St., Dunmore. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions go toward the establishment of a research fund in honor of Brian, c/o 502 Sherwood Ave., Dunmore, PA 18512.

Carol also sent us the following article that appeared in the Wyalusing Rocket-Courier on June 29, 2003:

Vivian McCarty donated some time last weekend to work in the Kiwanis food booth at the Native American Pow Wow held at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds

Giving Her Heart and Soul to Promoting Endless Mountains

By Wes Skillings

If Vivian McCarty were to have one wish granted for the future, it would be for those of us who live in the Endless Mountains Region “to explore your own backyard.” In other words, if you live in the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna or Wyoming—the heart and soul of the Endless Mountains—you’re taking a lot for granted.

It may be the rugged beauty of World’s End, the sensation of being on top of the world at Mt. Pisgah, the eclectic feel of Eagles Mere, the impressiveness of the Viaduct near Nicholson or the fascinating history of French Azilum that makes the region special. Those are just some of the marquee stops in a part of the state plush, forested and beautiful with a sparkling river running through it.

McCarty officially retires as director of the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau at the end of this month and, with accrued vacation time, recently completed her last full week doing the job she loves doing. When she took over as director, the state was providing $18,000 annually to the agency to promote tourism in the region, and she promptly got them to chip in $4,000 more. Now the agency’s budget is $300,000, with about $118,000 provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. About 150,000 annual updated tourism guides are generated here, 30,000 of which stay in the region. Then there are special brochures, calendars of events and a searchable web site of events and directory (where to go and what to do) at

McCarty has good reason for her love and appreciation for this area. Her own family history explains much of it. She and her seven sisters, who were essentially born and raised in Hillsgrove in Sullivan County, made it a ritual over the years, no matter where they were, to all get together annually at the behest of their mother, Freda, now 90, and explore their own backyard. It was a backyard which offered plenty of nooks and vistas. Her mother hailed from Procter in nearby Lycoming County and her father was from Wheelerville out toward Canton by way of Forksville, Estella and Shunk.

Her grandfather, Sumner McCarty, was the first forest ranger in Sullivan County and is credited for the concept and eventual creation of High Knob Road, offering public access to a truly remarkable vista a stone’s throw from Lycoming County. Her father, Francis, settled the McCartys in Hillsgrove, and Vivian, who has five daughters, one son and 17 grandchildren, plans to spend her retirement getting as close to the earth as she can on an 85-acre farm in Hillsgrove. The spread features, among other things, 10 bedrooms and plenty of living space for her, her two daughters, Vickie and Jennifer, their respective spouses and several grandchildren. Her son, Randy Beeman, the other part owner, doesn’t live there, but he does manage to spend about two weeks a year there. Vickie’s children are grown, with their youngest in college, and Jennifer, has younger children, ranging in age from an infant to a 15 year old.

“We’re going to be farmers,” says the 64-year-old McCarty of her impending retirement. “We’re into growing our own things.”

The farm is bordered by state land and almost equidistant, in terms of travel time, from both Williamsport and Dushore. They will be farming organically, growing winter rye and raising Highland cattle and free-range chickens.

McCarty plays a role in the history of Sullivan County beyond her family roots. She was still Vivian McCarty Beeman (her married name to her former spouse) when she was elected county commissioner in 1983 and by the time she finished out her four-year term in 1987, she had legally changed her name back to McCarty.

She sought the job of director of the tourism agency in the dwindling months of her term as county commissioner. She lost out in a bid for re-election in the next Republican primary, much of it due, she notes now, to the unpopularity of an unavoidable countywide assessment and recently unveiled new property appraisals. She started her new job as regional tourism director in January of 1988 when its offices were still in the Wyoming County Courthouse and it was just her and two senior citizen aides directing the show, including putting out the annual tourist guide, calendar of events and brochures. Her offices were so close to the courtroom and Vivian’s voice so resonant, she recalls, that she would often be shushed by an emissary from the judge when she was talking on the telephone.

Fortunately, they were able to move to new quarters near Shadowbrook the next year and have been there ever since.

It could be posited that if these mountains are indeed endless, there should be no end or, for that matter, a center. But in reality, one of the new directions the tourism agency will take, along with finding a new director, will be headquarters closer to the geographical center of the four-county region.

Vivian lives on one edge of the Endless Mountains Region and the current offices that she has overseen since January of 1988 are on another edge of the region in Wyoming County southeast of Tunkhannock on Rt. 6 and just a few miles from the Lackawanna County line.

The future of the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau is expected to include new offices some 30 miles further west and north on Rt. 6 at what was formerly the Marie Antoinette Overlook in Wyalusing Township.

“There has been resistance to moving out of Wyoming County,” says McCarty, “but it hasn’t come from me.” The resistance, as one might expect, has come from Wyoming County agencies and businesses, which understandably aren’t thrilled about giving up something that has been nurtured there since it was founded by Laceyville’s Myron Shoemaker, who is regarded as the father of tourism in this region.

“All you have to do is look at a map and the geographic center is between Laceyville and Black Walnut,” she notes. “Of course, Rt. 6 is such a vital part of the Endless Mountains, it makes sense to put it along there.” That would have still kept the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau in Wyoming County, though barely, but McCarty says she has no problem with the new headquarters being about a dozen miles further west on Rt. 6 in Bradford County.

“We have to be more accessible to the public, the residents of all four counties,” she says, noting that putting your tourism headquarters on any edge of the region it serves has drawbacks in terms of accessibility. However, one advantage is that, starting in June, much of the tourism traffic, be they antiquers, history buffs or casual travelers, comes west on Rt. 6. The current location often represented the onset of their journey into the Endless Mountains and a place where they could stop and find out what was here for them.

The physical move into Bradford County is a part of the evolution of the visitors’ bureau of which she will not be a part. Though she may support centralizing it, she no doubt is not upset about the ongoing effort of keeping the entities—the four counties of the region—appeased and contented. For instance, Rt. 6 is a key conveyor of tourism into the Endless Mountains, but two of the four counties—Susquehanna and Sullivan—do not have a section of the historic national roadway to call their own and are not always supportive of the traditional emphasis placed on the Grand Army of the Republic Highway and the route of General Sullivan’s march.

Because the region is so diverse and its individual counties harboring their own goals and interests, what one of its member counties regards as important may not be the case with others. In fact, Tioga County, an original member county, chose to go off on its own years ago, due in part to the success of the Laurel Festival there. The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, a major tourist draw in the state, may have been another factor in Tioga’s exit from regional restraints.

Aside from divergent interests of the counties themselves, a unified theme and point of attack, in terms of tourism, has always been difficult, if not impossible. As was noted, stressing Rt. 6, which has its own regional office in Galeton (part of a national Rt. 6 organization), is not an obvious priority for two of the counties. Interstate 81, which carries a huge volume of traffic, seems a logical place to invest promotional dollars at rest stops or welcome centers for Susquehanna County, and the same could be said for Rt. 17 (soon to be I-86) in northern Bradford County. However, those strategies may not seem to benefit other counties in the region. The region is even served by two different PENNDOT Districts—the one headquartered in Dunmore serving Susquehanna and Wyoming and the one headquartered in Montoursville serving Bradford and Sullivan. PENNDOT, of course, plays a vital role in funding welcome centers and even regional and county tourism offices.

However, McCarty feels working on all of these fronts helps everyone. Travelers on Rt. 6 can be encouraged to take side trips into Susquehanna and Sullivan Counties, and the interstates bring thousands of tourists a week to the edge of the region. From there they are encouraged to drive another hour or so to check out French Azilum, let’s say, or to visit the Bradford County Museum and Historical Society in its newly converted home in the old county jail.

For the record, McCarty says the two most popular tourist draws in the region are Eagles Mere in the summer and Elk Mountain in the winter.

One of the challenges of bringing travelers too far from the beaten path and into the Endless Mountains is that there are not a lot of places to stay the night. McCarty says that, counting motels, hotels and bed & breakfast businesses, there are barely 1,000 rooms available in all four counties. Compare that to the Poconos, where one or two resorts can provide those kinds of accommodations. That is, no doubt, why the Pocono Region gets $1.2 million from the state for tourism and the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau gets $118,000. In fact, the Endless Mountains has had to fight for its identity and avoid being swallowed up as a poor man’s adjunct to the Poconos.

“At one point early in the Ridge Administration, there was a plan to make us part of the Pocono Mountains Region,” McCarty reports. “We had to go to Harrisburg and argue that we want our own Endless Mountains Region.” That argument was supported then by legislators like Sen. Roger Madigan and state Reps. Matt Baker, Sandra Major and Scot Chadwick, who has since been succeeded by Tina Pickett.

The result was a semi-victory—a keeping of the name in the main state tourist region breakdowns. We are now part of the Poconos/Endless Mountains Region.

“It helps us keep our name out there, and people who come to the Poconos and may be looking for something a little different and less commercial, may want to see what we have to offer,” she explains.

What we offer, of course, are not the huge resorts, sprawling hotels and mammoth retail outlets.

Such are the challenges that Vivian McCarty has faced over some 15 and a half years at the helm of the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau. She will be tough to replace, but, for her successor, a lot of solid groundwork has been lain.

The name “Endless Mountains,” by the way, came from a Sullivan County youngster, whose suggestion for the name of the region was the winner in a school contest. But despite its fairy tale aspects, the name does have historical significance. Believe it or not, the student who proposed the name apparently had seen a map going back into the 1700’s. It showed Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and contiguous states at the time, and there was an area on the map in what would now encompass the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania labeled simply, “Endless Mountains.”

As the folks at the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau like to say when they talk about the potential of this region: “The possibilities are endless.”

Vivian McCarty
Source: Wyalusing Rocket-Courier, June 29, 2003

Quoting Linda Bosnak:

Vivian is my mom's first cousin. "Francis", her father, was my great uncle. Aunt Freda, her mother, was a Snell before she was married. Even Stanley, her ex, is a distant relative. The article definitely describes her to a "T". All the McCarty girls have that incredible drive, energy, and force of will, and what has always struck me is their love of the land and where they grew up. Those are the memories I have, of them sharing that with me. I'm a little bit older than Vivian's daughter Vickie, but the younger girls (Vivian's sisters) were always willing to spend time with us as well.

That seems to have been inherited from their grandfather and my great-grandfather, Sumner McCarty, who as my mother explains, had an overwhelming love of the land and nature, and was happiest in his beloved mountains. He didn't have much use for people, but was willing to share his love of the area with his grandkids.

This is the bare bones of McCarty history, obviously, and only part of the family history. Listing everyone would be mind-boggling, but let me know if you want information for any of the others. I have some myself and I'll update the page with anything else I get as far as history and stories. I'm hoping to get some information on the Underground Railroad in Sullivan County at some point in the future, which I think would be pretty interesting to read.


Remains of the Homestead of Patrick Cummiskey
Son of Arthur Cummiskey
Father of James Cummiskey
Wilmot (Cummiskey), PA
Contributed by Ann Cummiskey, Cousin to Mike Sheehan, Gr-grandson of Patrick Cummiskey

The material and pictures in this summary were organized and contributed by James Michael Sheehan, who lives in Tulsa, OK. Mike is a descendant of Madeline Carolatta Cummiskey (1894-1949) and Raymond Joseph Sheehan (1896-1939). This couple lived and married in Bradford, McKean County, PA, where one branch of the Cummiskey family relocated about 1890. The Cummiskey family left Ireland and originally settled in or near Wilmot, Bradford County, PA, which is just across the northern border of Sullivan County. The people who lived in Wilmot participated in the religious, social and economic life of both counties. Mike can be reached at The Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page is grateful to Mike for this historical information.

Editor's Note:: In May 2004, Jack Cummiskey contacted Bob Sweeney with his own research on the Arthur Cummiskey family and its cultural and historical origins in Ireland. His findings can be examined at Arthur and Mary Cummiskey. You will also find there a link to a description of the flax farming that was prevalent in County Monaghan where the Cummiskeys came from.

The Cummiskey (pronounced KUM-skee) name is an old one in Sullivan and Bradford Counties. In fact, the community of Wilmot has at various times been called "Cummiskey". According to the March 11, 1971 issue of The Sullivan Review, the area was called that because one of the sons of Arthur Cummiskey, John Cummiskey, and his wife Mary _____ settled there about 1828. The first generation of Cummiskey children in the New World tended to stay in the Wilmot area, but, as we shall see, not so with the grandchildren.

The first settlers, being Irish Catholics, did not wait long to establish a religious presence in their community. The March 11, 1971 issue of The Sullivan Review, Dushore's weekly paper, tells this story:


St. Francis Church at Payne Road, Cummiskey or Wilmot as it has been called at various times, has a long history.

As a Catholic center, it began soon after 1828 when John Cummiskey from Ireland settled there. Bishop Neumann walked over from Sugar Ridge and blessed a graveyard there even before the one in Dushore. Visiting priests said Mass in the Cummiskey home and others until a wooden chapel was built. It was made of hand hewn boards.

In 1889 the cornerstone of the present church was laid. A Patsy Burke, a good stone mason who had come to Wyalusing to work on the canal there, was hired to lay the foundation walls. The frame church was then erected by the Lawrence Brothers. The cross was made and gilded by William Cook who probably also made the windows and casings as that was his specialty. The church was not fully completed for about four years.

When Bishop O'Hara came from Scranton to consecrate the church, he also confirmed all those who were ready. Mary Cummiskey was the youngest one in the group.

About this time a priest was assigned to the combined Cummiskey and Stowell parishes, and the two churches remained under one pastor until about twenty years ago when Stowell was joined with Wyalusing. The church at Wilmot was then included in "The St. Basil's and St. Francis Parish." The first mass offered by priests from Dushore at St. Francis since the 1880's was said October 21, 1951.

The church has been kept in good repair, being renovated several times. While Father John J. O'Donnell was pastor, complete painting and repair work was done. During the process, while Philip, Emil and Arthur Tubach were putting onnew shingles, Philip fell from the top of a high ladder and died from his injuries a few days later.

The interior of the church is noted for its fine altar piece, a large paitning of the Crucifixion, and for its interesting woodwork. At present the building is being again renovated--the work being done mainly by "work bees" by the parishioners. All the old German and Irish Catholic families of the area have been noted for their fine church loyalty and support and for their neighborly feeling. For instance, for many years when there was a death in the family, the neighbors would get together and dig the grave. No one paid for that.

The picnics at Saxe's Grove, and the box socials held from home to home, will long be remembered.

A complete history of the area served by St. Francis Church should be written soon, before the facts, traditions and legends are all lost.

John Cummiskey also was one of the six witnesses listed on the back of the original 1825 deed for the Peace or "Germany" church in Cherry who assigned the interest of the Catholic community to the Dutch Reformed Church and German Lutheran church on September 17, 1857. The German Catholics and Protestants had shared the same structure for their services for over 30 years until St. Basil's became available for the Catholic community of Sullivan County in general. In turn, one of John's sons, Richard H. Cummiskey (1849-1921), helped haul the stone used to build the stone version of St. Basil's from the quarry. Richard lived near the St. Francis Church in Cummsikey (Wilmot) and was the postmaster there. Using his horses, he hauled every day for a month on one occasion, which was a severe demand on the time from his work.

One of the grandchildren, James Cummiskey (1849-1918), son of John's brother Patrick Cummiskey, left the area, first to work in Dunkirk, NY, not far from Buffalo, then on to Bradford, PA. His wife was Mary Aloysia Collins (1848-1941), an emigrant to the Bradford/Sullivan County area from Skibbereen in County Cork, Ireland, whom he married in Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Towanda, Bradford County, PA on July 5, 1877. It was after their marriage that this Cummiskey family began to rove. Let's learn more about this Collins family.

Jeremiah Collins (1812-1867) and his wife Helen (Driscoll) Collins (1821-1879) lived in Skibbereen, where Jeremiah ran a public house (i.e., a bar). On the same street was a church and convent school which his daughters attended. There were five children in this family: Cornelius (named for his grandfather), who died young, and four girls: Mary Aloysia (1848-1941), Catherine (1854-1910), Margaret (1855-1900) and Anne Josephine ("Annie") (1861-1944). All four girls would emigrate to the United States. We already know that Mary Aloysia married James Cummiskey.

Catherine married Michael John Carmody (1855-1914), whose parents had emigrated from County Kerry to the Towanda, PA area in the mid-1800s. Michael worked for the Hawes Manufacturing Company in Monroeton, Bradford County, PA in the early 1880s, then moved to Dushore in 1888 where he ran a hotel for five years, before moving on to Elmira Heights, NY. He later worked in Dunkirk and ended up in Niles, Kansas where he died. His wife, Catherine, had died a few years earlier. They had come to Niles to be with Catherine's sister, Annie, who ran a general store in Niles. All three are buried in Solomon, KS. Their son, John Michael Carmody, became a signficant political figure and ran the Rural Electrification Administration in the FDR presidency.

Margaret Collins was trained as a music teacher and then became a nun, Sister Mary Ann. She then became a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, PA. Sister Mary Ann died of tuberculosis in 1900 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Erie.

Annie Collins came to join her sister Mary Aloysia and studied at the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute in Towanda, PA. As a teacher, she spent seven years in towns such as Barclay and Long Valley. Then, when her sister Mary Aloysia and husband James Cummiskey moved to the Bradford, PA area, she also moved to nearby Hazelhurst, PA where she ran a store for the growing oil supply industry. Annie eventually relocated to Niles, Kansas, where her sister Catherine (Collins) Carmody lived. She died there in 1944.

We present here several pictures of the Collins daughters.

Convent School in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland About 1900
These schools taught practical trades such as weaving to the young women who attended them
Mary Aloysia Collins and her sisters may have attended this very school
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, Gr-grandson of Patrick Cummiskey

Mary Aloysia (Collins) Cummiskey
In Rear of a Buggy
Probably About 1915 in Bradford, PA Area with Daughters
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, grandson

Mary Aloysia (Collins) Cummiskey
With Mary Madeline Sheehan, Granddaughter
Probably Late 1923 in Bradford, PA
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, son of Raymond and Madeline Carolatta

Anne Josephine "Annie" Collins in Dushore, PA
She Taught for Seven Years in Barclay and Long Valley, PA
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, Grandson of Mary Aloysia (Collins) Cummiskey

"Aunt Annie" Collins as an older woman in Niles, KS in 1915
Accompanied by Madeline Cummiskey, her niece.
Annie had been a schoolteacher in Barclay, PA in the 1880's. In 1900, she ran a supply store for the oil industry in Hazlehurst, PA. About 1905, she moved to Niles, KS and ran a general store until her death in 1944.
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, Grandson of Mary Aloysia (Collins) Cummiskey

Margaret Collins (1854-1900)
Became Sister Mary Ann
Music Teacher, Nun and Nurse
Served at St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, PA
Contributed by Mike Sheehan, her great nephew

Bradford was a major lumber and rail center at the beginning of the nineteenth century and sat on the major rail lines from Buffalo to Pittsburgh. The town was also not far from the western PA oil filds around Oil City and Titusville. In fact, we know that James worked for an oil supply company about 1890 because we have a picture of the company tug-of-war team with him in it!!

James Cummiskey's Tug of War Team 1890
The Team Represented an Oil Well Supply Company in the Bradford, PA Area
Top, l to r: Tom Clark (helper), Mr. Squires (blacksmith), Mr. Pitts (helper)
Bottom, l to r: Dan Blake (helper), Pat McGraw (helper), James Cummiskey (blacksmith)
Contributed by Ann Cummiskey, Cousin to Mike Sheehan
Note: The labels and occupations are just as they were inscribed
on the back of the picture by one of the children of James Cummiskey. The last two helpers worked directly for James.

It was here that our contributor's Cummiskey and Sheehan ancestors settled and propagated. Their descendants settled in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere. You can look at more pictures and all the details at The Descendants of Arthur Cummiskey. Here is a final picture of the Class of 1901 at St. Basil's where we find a great-granddaughter of the Cummiskey immigrants obtaining her diploma.

Class of 1901 at St. Basil's School
Katherine Cummiskey at Top Right
Great-grandaughter of Arthur and Mary Cummiskey
Reproduced from The Sullivan Reivew, March 4, 1971

Thomas McDonald Farm
Bayfield, Colorado
January 2002
A Son of Patrick and Catherine Burns McDonald
Moved to Colorado and Raised a Family on this Farmstead

Photo taken by Sherrill Smith and contributed by Harold Goff, current owner


The material and pictures in this summary were organized and contributed by Mary Scott, who lives in Warren, OH. She is a descendant of both the McDonald and O'Donnell families presented here. Mary has also been one of the foremost agents of historical research on the founding families of Sullivan county and this site would be far less compelling and informative were it not for her genral assistance. Her colleagues in the Sullivan County Genealogical Web Project claim that Mary is the most skilled genealogist at "finding dead people" that we know. She can be reached at The Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page is most grateful to Mary for this historical information. The following account is presented in her very own words.

Patrick and Catherine Burns McDonald came over from Ireland and settled in Cherry Township, Sullivan County, PA. They settled on the old Township Road, on the Hemeway farm * which they greatly improved. Later they located on the old homestead which was then wild land but, under the applied efforts of Patrick and later of his sons, was brought up to a high state of cultivation. Patrick did not long survive his emigration to the new country. The Streby History of Cherry Township says he died in 1865 but his gravestone at St. Basil's says he died on April 15, 1875 at the age of 67.
* Editor's Note: Here are Driving Directions created for the 2000 Sweeney-McDonald Reunion that locate the Patrick McDonald homestead. The starting point is the Fairgrounds in Forksville, PA.

Catherine was born about 1820 and died November 5, 1893 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA. Patrick and Catherine are buried at St. Basil's Church Cemetery in Dushore

The children of Patrick and Catherine Burns McDonald were:

John S. McDonald, b. August 15, 1838, Dushore, Sullivan County, PA; d. October 3, 1905, Albany, Bradford County, PA; m. Mary A. McKernan, b. December 27, 1838 and d. April 12, 1931. They were married about 1858. Both are buried at St. Basil's Church Cemetery in Dushore, where they share a common grave marker.

Ellen McDonald, b. 1839, Dushore, Sullivan County, PA; m. Jehial Dudley, son of Urban and Sally Dudley. His name was obtained from the 1870 census taken on 19 Aug 1870 in Barclay, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He died prior to 1880 in Carbon Run, PA. In 1880, Ellen was living in Barclay, Bradford County, PA with her children: Jerome, Annie, Catherine and William. She is listed as a widow. Barclay was an old mining town.
Editor's Note: We are indebted to Leigh Taffe Acla for the preceding information about the Dudley family [January 2010].

Miles McDonald, b. July, 1842 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA; m. Sarah Hensley from Indiana on August 30, 1876 in Alma Park, Colorado. Miles is listed in the Streby History of Sullivan County as a hotel keeper in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Miles mined gold in Colorado in the late 1800's.

James McDonald, b. 1844 Dushore, Sullivan County, PA; d. March 29, 1868. James drowned at Big Rock, Sullivan County, PA.

William J. McDonald was born April 1845 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA, and died January 13, 1927 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA. He married Ellen Toner.

Mary Ann McDonald, b. 1847; m. Phillip Graham. This information was obtained from the marriage record of their son James Francis Graham. I believe Philip Graham was from a large Irish family that settled around Danville, PA. His parents were John and Catherine Moore Graham, and they were from Queen's County, Ireland. In the 1870 census I found Philip and Mary living near Danville. By 1880, Mary had passed away, as her children are found living with the widowed Catherine Burns McDonald in Dushore, while her widowed husband is lised in Barclay in the home of James and Ellen Sweeney. The History of Columbia and Montour Counties [1887, J. H. Battle, editor] states that Philip Graham relocated to Colorado. Perhaps he decided to leave the children with Mary's family after her death.
Editor's Note: We are indebted to Leigh Taffe Acla for the preceding information about the Graham family [January 2010].

Daniel McDonald, b. June 3, 1852, Dushore, Sullivan County, PA; d. March 8, 1881 of pneumonia in Colorado.

Catherine McDonald was born in 1854 in Dushore, and died November 13, 1930 in Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, PA. She married John McAndrew, son of John and Ellen Carey/Casey McAndrew.

Charles F. McDonald, b. July 1858, Dushore, Sullivan County, PA, and moved to Colorado about 1879. In 1900, Charles lived in Cripple Creek, Teller County, CO. He was also a gold miner. In 1920, he was living in Denver, Colorado. An exceprt from the October 20, 1892 Sullivan Review of Dushore, PA reads:

Chas. S.[sic] McDonald, of Cripple Creek, Colorado, is visiting his relatives and old friends in Cherry for the first time in thirteen years. He has been engaged in gold mining in the west.

Thomas McDonald was born April, 1860 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA, and died September 18, 1946. Thomas is buried in the Greemount Cemetery, Durango, Colorado. He married Minnie Moynahan from Michigan. Minnie was born November 18, 1870 and died January 9, 1953. Minnie is buried in the Greenmount Cemetery in Durango, Colorado. Minnie's parents were Matthew and Bridget O'Brien Moynahan. In 2001, I was able to locate the farm that Thomas once owned, one mile east of Bayfield, Colorado. Through the considerate generosity of its current owner, Harold Goff, we have several pictures of the facility. It appears that, after Thomas died, his nephew William C. Moynahan, who went by the surname "McDonald" and was called "Ol' Bill", took over and ran the farm until he died in 1957. Local stories say he still ran irrigation water to the property until his death.

Editor's Note: According to Leigh Taffe Acla in January 2010:

Thomas and Minnie Moynahan McDonald raised the four children of Minnie's sister, Kittie. Ironically, these children had the last name MacDonald. They were Jeannette, Helen, Kinnon Angus, and Minnette. Their father was James MacDonald, a Canadian of Scottish descent. Minnette MacDonald, the last of the children, passed away in 2001.
It also seems to me that Catherine Burns must have been a relation of Miles Burns who settled in Dushore. Perhaps his sister. Miles is a Burns family name and Catherine did name one of her sons Miles. I believe the Burns family was from County Cavan. The Farrelly family (children of Michael and Ann Farrelly which became both "Farley" and "Farrell" over time) settled in Wilmot, PA due to their connection with the Burns family. Cornelius Farrelly, brother to the Wilmot settlers, married Margaret Burns. I also believe Ann Farley, who married Michael Fox, may have been a sister of these Farrellys. These are connections I am still working on.

Farmhouse Window on Farm of Thomas McDonald
The farmhouse was burned by volunteer firemen several years ago
Bayfield, Colorado
December 2001
Photo taken by Sherrill Smith and contributed by Harold Goff, current owner

Barn on Farm of Thomas McDonald
Bayfield, Colorado
December 2001
Photo taken by Sherrill Smith and contributed by Harold Goff, current owner

Corral on Farm of Thomas McDonald
Bayfield, Colorado
December 2001
Photo taken by Sherrill Smith and contributed by Harold Goff, current owner

George McDonald was born April 9, 1862 in Dushore, Sullivan County, PA, and died in 1936. He is buried at St. Basil's Cemetery, Dushore, PA. He married Alice A. Farrell on November 12, 1885, daughter of James and Catherine Farrell.

Two children died in infancy.

The following are my gr-grandparents: William and Ellen Toner McDonald. William and Ellen lived in Barclay, Bradford County, PA in 1880 and later moved to Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA. They raised the following children:

James McDonald, b. October 1869

William McDonald, b. Oct. 3, 1870, in Sullivan County, PA; d. April 4, 1916 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA; m. Sarah Ann Dailey from Ohio

John McDonald, b. June, 1874, Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA

Anna Ellen McDonald, b. September 18, 1877, Sullivan County, PA; d. August 11, 1961 in Jefferson County, PA; m. Patrick O'Donnell. Patrick was born about 1869 and died December 22, 1947 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA.

Charles F. McDonald, b. September 1, 1878 in Sullivan County, PA. He died October 17, 1955 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA.

Thomas McDonald, b. March, 1882, d. January 6, 1916 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA

Mary McDonald, b. July, 1884, Sullivan County, PA, d. January 17, 1959 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA.

Daniel McDonald, b. December 15, 1887 in Sullivan County, PA; d. December 16, 1963 in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA

George McDonald, b. September, 1890; d. 1951; m. Ethel Travis on July 15, 1915.

Patrick O'Donnell was my grandfather. He was born in 1869 in Ireland and married my grandmother, Annie McDonald on May 25, 1898 at St. Catherine's Church in DuBois, Clearfield County, PA. In 1910, they lived in West Brownsville, Washington County, PA. They later moved to Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA, where they raised the following children:

Patrick O'Donnell, b. January 4, 1902, Fuller, Jefferson County, PA; d. February 20, 1968, New Castle, Lawrence County, PA

Ellen O'Donnell, b. May 4, 1904, in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA; d. April 26, 1978; m. Eugene Nocerini

Katherine O'DonneH, b. March 25, 1906; d. 1972 in the Allegheny County Hospital, Pittsburgh. PA; m. Clarence Hook

Mary Jane O'Donnell, b. October 4, 1908; d. 1939, Reynoldsvi!le, Jefferson County, PA; m. Daryl Cassatt

Margaret O'Donnell, b. 1914; m. Francis Casey Cosmark

Eugene O'Donnell, b. August 6, 1915, West Brownsville, Washington County, PA; d. August 18, 1996, Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, PA; m. Hilda Fay Berringer. This couple is Mary Scott's parents.

Bernard O'Donnell, b. 1920; d. February 1965, Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio; m. Helen Marchori

Thomas O'Donnell, b. December 16, 1911 in Coalport, PA, d. August, 1970. m. Martha Rossman in 1934.

Patrick remains a mystery to me. Patrick's death certificate says he was born in Ireland to Patrick and Kathryn Melley O'Donnell. The picture below was sent to my Aunt Kate. It was taken in the 1870's at the David Baily Studios in Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, PA. These studios, created and managed by David Baily and his son Elmer Baily, have yielded over 82 years worth of old glass negatives and photographic records of life in Pennsylvania from near the beginning of the Civil War until about World War Two. Written on the back of this photo is: "Grandmother Melley and your father as a boy." Patrick's death certificate lists "Kate Melley" as his mother. A nun in Schuykill county said the lady looks like Anna Campbell Melley, the reported name of Patrick's grandmother and Kate's mother, but I have not been able to confirm this.

Another mystery to be solved is: Who were Ellen Toner's parents and where were they from? Ellen was married to my gr-grandfather, William McDonald. The census records say Ellen was born in 1852 in PA. Where and to whom?

Another mystery is in the same mortuary plot number as Thomas and Minnie Moynahan McDonald, in Greenmount, Durango County, Colorado. Who is in the grave marked: "John L. McDonald, 82 years of age, died 1/13/1924"?

An O'Donnell Mystery
Inscription: "Grandmother Melley and your father as a boy"
Is this Patrick O'Donnell and his mother or stepmother?
Contributed by Mary Scott, Patrick's granddaughter


Mary Ann Kester (1879-1938) and John H. May( 1863-1951)
Married April 14, 1896
Taken Before 1938 at the Kester Home in Terry, Bradford County, PA
Contributed by John Blair

The material in this genealogy was contributed by John Blair, whose wife, Susan Kay Bennett, is a great-great-granddaughter of Jesse and Mary A. Rinebold KESTER as follows:

Susan Kay Bennett, wife of John Blair, daughter of
---Dean Bennett, son of
------Harry Lovento Bennett and Bertha May, daughter of
---------John H. May and Mary A. Kester, daughter of
------------Jesse Kester and Mary Rinebold

He can be reached at The Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page is indebted to John for this historical information.

Generation No. 1

JESSE KESTER (JOSEPH, JACOB) was born July 1836 in Cherry Twnsp, Sullivan Co. PA, and died 1932 in Wilmot Twshp, Bradford Co., PA. He married MARY ANN RINEBOLD after 1860 in Sullivan Co., PA, daughter of CONRAD RINEBOLD and ELIZA ISERHART. She was born November 1842 in PA, and died 1902 in Wilmot Twshp, Bradford Co., PA.


Wilmot, Bradford Co. 1900 Census

1860 Sullivan Co. Cherry Township, Birthplace listed as Baden (Germany)

Buried at May Cemetery along with the following

Hartford, Arthor 11/5/1892 10/11/1895 Son of N and M Hartford
Herrick, Richard Wesley 1941 1997
Kester, Jesse 1841 1932
Kester, Mary Ann 1844 1902
May, George B. 1895 1918 serial # 1782336, killed in France, Supply Co. 314 inf. 79 Div.
May, Flossy 6/5/1897 2/2/1887 Dau. of Fred and Elizabeth
May, Elizabeth 5/25/1867 2/1/01 Wife of Fred
May Fred 1865 19__ No death date, Husband of Elizabeth



2. ii. HARVEY KESTER, b. December 30, 1864; d. February 16, 1964.

3. iii. LLOYD KESTER, b. 1869.

iv. IDA KESTER, b. 1872, LaPorte, Sullivan Co., PA; m. (1) DAVID HOWELL; m. (2) EDWARD VANDERPOOL, May 30, 1936, Towanda, Bradford, PA; b. about 1874, South Towanda, Bradford, PA.

4. v. MINNIE CORDELLA KESTER, b. December 1873; d. 1935, Endicott, NY.

5. vi. MARY ANN KESTER, b. November 1879, PA; d. 1938, Terry, Bradford Co., PA.

Generation No. 2

2. HARVEY KESTER (JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born December 30, 1864, and died February 16, 1964. He married (1) JULIA ETTA RINEBOLD, daughter of TILGHMAN RINEBOLD and SUSANNAH HUNSINGER. She was born November 17, 1868. He married (2) JULIETTA RINEBOLD on October 15, 1888 in Sullivan, PA. She was born November 17, 1868 in Forks, Sullivan, PA, and died in 1947 in Towanda, Bradford, PA.


i. ANNA KESTER, d. Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA; m. LOPEZ.

ii. CARL KESTER, d. Bigfork, Flathead, MT.


iv. ROBERT KESTER, b. May 29, 1890; d. July 05, 1958, Towanda, Bradford, PA.

v. LENA KESTER, b. 1895, Overton, Bradford, PA; m. (1) ________ CHASE; m. (2) WILSON D. GEORGE, June 30, 1917, Towanda, Bradford, PA; b. 1894, Big Spring, Cumberland, PA.

vi. PAUL R. KESTER, b. June 02, 1896, Overton, Bradford, PA; d. August 28, 1968, Towanda, Bradford, PA; m. (1) ALMEDA ENGLISH, June 17, 1918, Towanda, Bradford, PA; b. 1895, Athens, Bradford, PA; m. (2) MARGARET VANDERPOOL, March 08, 1964; b. January 06, 1902, Towanda, Bradford, PA; d. April 22, 1993, Bolivar, Allegany, NY.



i. ALICE B. KESTER, b. June 28, 1900; d. June 25, 1952, Waverly, NY; m. ANDREW S. ROGERS; b. March 26, 1896; d. January 12, 1968, Barton, NY.

4. MINNIE CORDELLA KESTER (JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born December 1873, and died 1935 in Endicott, NY. She married JAMES BATES about 1892. He was born June 1871 in PA.

Children of MINNIE KESTER and JAMES BATES are:

i. CHARLEY F. BATES, b. March 1894.

ii. CARL [?] W. BATES, b. September 1895.

iii. HERBERT P. BATES, b. January 1897.

iv. MARY ANN BATES, b. January 1900.

5. MARY ANN KESTER (JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born November 1879 in PA, and died 1938 in Terry, Bradford Co., PA. She married JOHN H. MAY April 14, 1896 in Sullivan Co., PA, son of JOHN MAY and NAOMI FRANKLIN. He was born June 04, 1863 in Wyalusing, Bradford Co., PA, and died 1951 in Terry, Bradford Co., PA.

Notes for JOHN H. MAY:

1900 Census, Wilmot Township Household #12, Farmer

John Henry and Mary Kester May are buried at New Era Cemetery which is beside a Methodist Church in New Era, PA. Others who are buried there:

Harry Lovento Bennett - father of Dean Bennett, our contributor's father-in-law
Bertha Irene May Bennett - mother of Dean Bennett
Percy H. May, MAC. GUN Co. 109, INF., 1900 - 1926 WORLD WAR VET

Note: Information is from tombstone in New Era Cemetery, PA. Percy was gassed in WW1 and died of tuberculosis. Percy was Dean Bennett's uncle by marriage, and son of John Henry and Mary Kester May. Percy never married.

Children of MARY KESTER and JOHN MAY are:

i. CLYDE S. MAY, b. July 23, 1897, Bradford Co., PA; d. February 1984, Alburqueque, NM; m. LORENNE _________.

Notes for CLYDE S MAY:

No Children

6. ii. LESTER T. MAY, b. September 11, 1898, Bradford Co., PA; d. April 1972, Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA.

iii. PERCY H. MAY, b. February 1900; d. 1926.

7. iv. MARY N. MAY, b. 1902.

8. v. BERTHA IRENE MAY, b. March 09, 1903, Wilmot Township, Bradford Co., PA; d. February 12, 1961, Wysox, Bradford Co.. PA.

9. vi. JOHN E. MAY, b. 1905.

10. vii. VELMA R. MAY, b. March 06, 1906, Bradford Co., PA; d. March 1981, Wyalusing, Bradford Co., PA.

11. viii. LULU MINNIE MAY, b. May 14, 1908, Wilmot, Bradford Co., PA; d. May 30, 1963, Waverly, NY.

12. ix. EDNA MAY, b. 1914; d. February 22, 2001.

13. x. AUGUSTA MAY, b. March 30, 1913, Bradford Co., PA; d. October 09, 1994, Troy, Bradford Co., PA.

xi. CLYDE MAY, b. 1898.

14. xii. LESTER T. MAY, b. 1899.

Generation No. 3

6. LESTER T. MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born September 11, 1898 in Bradford Co., PA, and died April 1972 in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co. WA. He married (1) GLADYS HUNSINGER. He married (2) CYNTHIA _________.



Notes for WAYNE MAY:

Hit by a car. Died 8 years old

ii. LAWRENCE MAY, m. JEAN __________. They had two children.


Notes for PAULINE MAY:

They have two daughters, and live in Washington State

iv. MARY MAY, m. EDWARD ELLIS. They had one son.




Children of MARY MAY and WILLIAM FENTON are:




8. BERTHA IRENE MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born March 09, 1903 in Wilmot Township, Bradford Co., PA, and died February 12, 1961 in Wysox, Bradford Co., PA. She married HARRY LOVENTO BENNETT November 08, 1922 in Towanda, PA., son of WILLIAM BENNETT and BERTHA BARBER. He was born June 03, 1893 in Terry Township, PA, and died June 30, 1975 in New Era, PA.

Children of BERTHA MAY and HARRY BENNETT are:

i. IRENE BENNETT, b. July 1924; d. March 1932.

ii. ALMA BENNETT, b. August 20, 1926; d. April 1932.

iii. DEAN BENNETT, b. May 09, 1929, Wysox, Bradford Co., PA; m. ANITA STRICKER, July 04, 1954, Huntington, IN; b. April 10, 1935, Andrews, Hungtington Co., IN..

iv. CARL BENNETT, b. October 10, 1930.

v. MILES BENNETT, b. October 27, 1934.

9. JOHN E. MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born 1905. He married HAZEL SALSMAN. She died June 2000.

Children of JOHN MAY and HAZEL SALSMAN are:


ii. JAMES MAY, m. NANCY ________.

Notes for JAMES MAY:

He had six children.



She had three children.

iv. RUTH MAY, m. ALAN __________.


10. VELMA R. MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born March 06, 1906 in Bradford Co., PA, and died March 1981 in Wyalusing, Bradford Co., PA. She married TRACY WALKER, SR.

Children of VELMA MAY and TRACY WALKER are:





11. LULU MINNIE MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born May 14, 1908 in Wilmot, Bradford Co., PA, and died May 30, 1963 in Waverly, NY. She married WALLACE R. DANIELS, son of HENRY DANIELS and MABEL KNIGHT. He was born 1903 in Taylor, PA, and died February 16, 1975 in Waverly, NY.


i. HARRY ALFRED DANIELS, b. October 02, 1926; d. April 15, 1983; m. LOUISE LESNESKI; b. February 19, 1926; d. March 12, 1984.

12. EDNA MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born 1914, and died February 22, 2001. She married JOHN VANDERPOOL.

Children of EDNA MAY and JOHN VANDERPOOL are:




13. AUGUSTA MAY (MARY ANN KESTER, JESSE, JOSEPH, JACOB) was born March 30, 1913 in Bradford Co., PA, and died October 09, 1994 in Troy, Bradford Co., PA. She married CARLETON SALSMAN.

Notes for AUGUSTA MAY:

1920 Census spells name Augustus, known as "Gussie".









Submitted by
John Blair

September 28, 2001


On November 20, 2001, we received the following message from Dave Kester, another Kester family historian:

Jesse Kester was my great grandfather Charles Kester's brother. Jesse's descendants lived twenty miles away from Charles' for several generations and neither knew of the existence of the other. Of course, most of Jesse's family in Bradford County married out and therefore weren't named Kester, and that may have had something to do with it. I just learned for the first time of Jesse's existence within the last year from John Blair. Still it was a small world back then. But the best Thanksgivings I ever had were in Dushore and Overton. Those were the days! You can also learn more about the Kester family history at Descendants of Jacob Kester and Katherine Knubaharin.

Amen to that, Dave Kester!

Dave had another Thanksgiving blessing in fact, one year later, when we posted the Wentzell Family Bible on this site. In doing so, we reported on the discovery of a personal letter written from Charles Kester to his wife Mary in 1863 that was found in the covers of the Bible. These were Dave's great- grandparents! What an unexpected windfall finding. We are now trying to figure out how the letter got there.

Contributions by:

Connie McMichael King, (The Kozemkos)
Emy Hannon, (William F. Benjamin)
Linda Bosnak, (The McCarty Family)
Michael Sheehan, (Arthur Cummiskey)
Mary Scott,
John Blair,

Copyright © 2001 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (

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